Mercer Peace River Announces Fibre Procurement Capital Investment Project

PEACE RIVER, AB, August 16, 2021 – Mercer Peace River Pulp Ltd. (“MPR”) is undertaking a capital investment project to transform its fibre procurement process, improving environmental performance and creating a more sustainable business model. MPR’s Fibre Procurement Project (the “Project”) will create a multitude of enhancements, sustaining the many jobs that support the Operation while also creating new long-term career opportunities. 

Currently, MPR’s hardwood fibre procurement process utilizes portable chippers to debark and chip aspen trees in the forest or remote satellite yards, which are then delivered to the facility to be processed. After determining wood costs as a material competitive issue for the mill, MPR has decided to transition from off-site aspen chipping to an on-site centralized chipping facility. With the new investments, logs will be cut to length and transported to the mill on larger, more efficient 10-axle trucks and processed in the new state-of-the-art wood processing facility.

By way of this investment, MPR will significantly lower its carbon footprint through the reduction of fossil fuel emissions and retention of more forest carbon stocks. This will be achieved by:

  • replacing diesel-powered debarkers/chippers with electrical machines powered by the mill’s biogenic green energy,
  • implementing a more efficient transportation system,
  • decreasing fibre handling, and
  • improving hog fuel quality to reduce natural gas consumption.

As an organization committed to sustainable technology and with climate change being a global challenge, the positive environmental impacts of this project are significant. It is projected that through this investment, by 2050, MPR will have reduced fossil fuel emissions by over 900,000 tonnes of CO2e and sequester 2.6 million tonnes of CO2e through forest conservation; thusly, creating an innovative solution to make significant, cost-effective greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions.

The new state-of-the-art woodroom, planned for completion in May of 2022, will be equipped with some of the most innovative debarking, chipping, and monitoring technologies. These technologies will allow for greater utilization of the hardwood trees and optimization of the pulping process, resulting in the need for fewer fibre resources. MPR anticipates a reduction of approximately 500,000 trees annually to meet pulp production goals, creating a more efficient and economical process. 

“Investing in technological improvements that provide solutions to reducing emissions and generate efficiencies will allow us to further deliver on our vision of sustainability. This innovation will contribute to our advancement in the forestry sector and will create environmental and economic benefits that will be shared throughout our communities.”
-David Gandossi, President and CEO, Mercer International Inc. 

Mercer strives to improve through innovation, building a more resilient future for us all and sharing its successes with its team members, stakeholders, and communities. We remain sustainable, together – protecting jobs, contributing to the local economies, and managing resources efficiently. 

About Us 

At Mercer Peace River Ltd., we are exceptional people creating bioproducts for a more sustainable world. We are a diversified producer of forest products, bioproducts, and green electricity. At Mercer Peace River, we are responsible for the management of approximately 2.7 million hectares of forest which supplies the majority of our annual fibre requirements. Located in the boreal forest region of Northern Alberta, Mercer Peace River primarily produces both high-quality softwood and hardwood pulp. We are proud of our efforts towards the full utilization of all our biomass materials and our sustainable forest management practices. 

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